Bowles: One-in-Three Chance of Deal

One in three.

That’s how Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s fiscal commission and a former White House chief of staff for Bill Clinton, rates the chances of approval of an agreement this year to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

Bowles isn’t involved in the budget negotiations, though he says he met with Obama yesterday. He also plans to join a group of company leaders in a meeting with House Republicans today, as CEOs from major companies visit the Hill and White House today.

The “sticking points” for a budget deal are the president’s call for $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue and the fact that “there’ve been no serious discussions” so far over changes to entitlement programs, Bowles said at a breakfast in Washington today sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

It was Bowles and fellow co-chairman Alan Simpson, a retired Republican senator from Wyoming, who recommended a package of spending  uts and tax increases as a long-term solution to the nation’s budget deficits.

That failed for lack of support in Congress — with even the White House backing away from its own commission chairmen’s plan.

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